He's known as "DJ Deluxe" at weddings and parties, and "DJ Mr. Rid" at local music gigs and at his rather cool all-vinyl Monday residency at the Double Wide. He's known as Mark Ridlen when he co-hosts a radio show with Reid Robinson on FM 89.3 KNON called Sonic Assembly Power Hour, which airs Tuesdays from 10 p.m. to midnight. What does Mom call him? She doesn't call him anymore, probably. He's too damn busy to talk, is my guess.
So, give us the run down of what all you do!
I am a musician, producer, filmmaker, photographer, painter, party maker and DJ. I have been playing music for people ever since I was 5 years old. Teenage girls would bring their records over while babysitting me and I'd play them on our patio while they danced with their friends. Things got out of hand one night when one of their boyfriends tripped while dancing and landed face first busting open his mouth. The next day my mom saw the blood stains and put the kibosh on future record parties.
Ha! How about when you got a little older?
In the early '80s I started making mixtapes for vintage clothing stores and various friends which landed me a gig at the Starck Club when it first opened in 1984, and also when the Starck briefly repoened in '96. At that time, I had started programming music for soundtracks, fashion events and friends' weddings. This turned into djdeluxe.com which is still my full time occupation.
You're also one of the biggest carriers of the vinyl flag! Tell us more about your DJ gig that centers around vinyl.
I was gigging regularly at the Double Wide in 2007 when I came up with Singles Nite, a monthly bring your own 7" records party. I got the idea from my elementary school music class where on the last day of school we could all bring a record that the teacher would play for the whole class. Last year I decided to elaborate on that and change the name to Vinyl Tap due to confused people thinking it was a singles dating group! Double Wide's owner Kim Finch suggested it be weekly and include vendors and collectors buying, selling and trading vinyl along with other ephemera. Cassettes and VHS tapes are big again, so I've been encouraging people to bring those out as well. Kim and The Doublewide to the rescue! Cool gig. How's the response to Vinyl Tap so far?
My friend Tommy Blackburn summed it up nicely: "The joy of vinyl is in the physical appreciation of the medium. The look the touch and sound of records which are time capsules of the past. So many recorded sounds before the digital revolution never made their way to CD's, MP3s and the 21st century. The thrill of vinyl is finding that rare piece of art that has been hiding in some dusty bin waiting to be rediscovered."
Right on. I feel you guys.
Vinyl Tap night celebrates the communal aspect of music appreciation that has but disappeared over the years with the loss of community retail music stores. The evening's conversations tend to revolve around music. Afficionados, collectors and novice audiophiles have a perfect opportunity to share insight and personal libraries with other like minded people. For those looking to bulk up their collection or show off their hidden gems Mondays at Doublewide are the best way to do both. Tommy Blackburn gets credit for saying that as well, by the way.
Ha! Noted. How about your history playing music yourself?
I played trombone in high school then starting singing and playing bass with a friend's garage band. We were featured in Ron Howard's movie that was filmed in Dallas; Cotton Candy. Most of that band later morphed into Quad Pi. We recorded a single for VVV Records and played around during Dallas' first punk/ new wave era. Our biggest gig was opening for The Psychedelic Furs. My band Lithium Xmas, started performing at The Starck Club in the 80s at a psychedelic themed party night and continued for another 12 years. I DJed and performed there throughout Starck's existence including when it briefly reopened under new management in 1996.
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And what do you personally consider the very best in DFW music? Live or on record.
My current local faves are whatever Wanz Dover is doing, George Quartz, Pinkish Black and Party Static. My first aha local music moment was witnessing The Nervebreakers blow away The Sex Pistols at The Long Horn Ballroom when I was a high school senior.